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New study highlights financial toll of health disparities in U.S. 2023/5/18 source: hit: 36 Print

LOS ANGELES, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The economic burden of health disparities in the United States remains "unacceptably high," showed a new study published Tuesday.

The research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), reveals that in 2018, racial and ethnic health disparities cost the U.S. economy 451 billion U.S. dollars, a 41-percent increase from the previous estimate of 320 billion dollars in 2014.

The study also finds that the total burden of education-related health disparities for persons with less than a college degree in 2018 reached 978 billion dollars, about two times greater than the annual growth rate of the U.S. economy in 2018.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is the first to estimate the total economic burden of health disparities for five racial and ethnic minority groups nationally and for all states using a health equity approach, said the NIH.

"The exorbitant cost of health disparities is diminishing U.S. economic potential. We have a clear call to action to address social and structural factors that negatively impact not only population health, but also economic growth," said Eliseo J. Perez-Stable, director of the U.S. National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.